The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


February 2012 | Blog Archives

The Power of Sisterhood

Monday, February 27: 2:56 p.m.
Posted by Allison McClain
Spinderella meets with girls in the Sisterhood program

Recently, a group (Sisterhood) from West Side Community House in Cleveland's Sisterhood program visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum during one of the Museum's education programs. Here, Allison McClain, youth services director at the West Side Community House, explains how music and education come together in the Sisterhood program, and how a special visit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum made for an exciting experience for the girls in the program.

Sisterhood is an after school and summer program at West Side Community House for girls ages 10-15, and girls ages 16-18 can apply to the program as mentors. Sisterhood began as a pilot program in 2008 with a Call to Prayer grant from United Methodist Women. The mission of Sisterhood is to prepare girls for womanhood and their life beyond. Since 2008, the Sisterhood program has served hundreds of girls from the east and west side of Cleveland, providing girls with a safe space to talk about real issues and process ways to learn and grow from those issues. 

The school year curriculum is divided into five cycles: Social Skills and Self Esteem, Family Support and Outreach, Education and ...


continue Categories: Exclusive Interviews, Education, Foster Theatre, Event

Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)"

Wednesday, February 22: 2:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Parliament's "Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)" is one of the Songs That Shaped Rock

1997 Hall of Fame inductee George Clinton, the mad genius of funk, launched his assault on music business-as-usual late in the 1960s with a short-lived but seminal R&B quintet called the Parliaments. As writer and producer, Clinton bent the group's post-Motown sound in a direction as smart as it was quirky. The Parliaments officially dissolved after one 1970 album and a major contractual problem; but Clinton, with an eye to the freak flags flown by Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone, recreated the group as a band of outsiders complete with their own lingo, costumes, myths, and philosophy ("Free your mind… and your ass will follow"). Transforming himself into Dr. Funkenstein, Clinton cooked up a funk feast that spiked James Brown's gritty gumbo (much of it provided by original Brown musicians like Bootsy Collins, Fred Wesley, and Maceo Parker) with heavy doses of psychedelia, and a dash of rock and roll.  No one sounded like Parliament except Funkadelic, a virtually identical group Clinton signed to another label and encouraged to be even more eccentric. Touring "together" with up to 40 members as "A Parliafunkadelicment Thang," the bands became one of the most successful black concert acts of ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

Spinderella's First Spin

Wednesday, February 22: 10:30 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
DJ Spinderella demonstrates the art of DJing with vinyl

On Wednesday, February 15, 2012, Spinderella – the Grammy Award–winning DJ, producer, rapper and writer – appeared in the Museum's Foster Theater for a live interview and DJ demo performance. Over the course of an hour-long interview with Director of Education Jason Hanley, Spinderella talked about her career, influences and more.

As a true hip-hop pioneer, Spinderella rocked the turntables as a member of Salt-n-Pepa, the iconic female rap group that would sell more than 15 million albums and singles worldwide. Her career started before she even finished high school.

"I didn't set out to be a DJ," said Spinderella, recalling how her first interest in music came from poring over her father's vinyl collection. "I was in high school. I was in the cafeteria, going to lunch, and a young lady just came up to me and was like, 'Would you want to DJ for a girl group?'" At that time, Spinderella aka Dee Dee Roper was still new to DJing, learning a few tricks from her high school boyfriend, who she accompanied on gigs. Soon, she began spinning on her own.

"Everyone had heard about me DJing – and that was a very rare thing back ...


continue Categories: Exclusive Interviews, Education, Foster Theatre, Event

10 Essential Nirvana Songs

Monday, February 20: 5:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Kurt Cobain (album art from Nirvana's 1989 album Bleach)

Kurt Cobain was born on February 20, 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. The songwriter/guitarist emerged from the nascent grunge movement of the early 80s – an alternative sub genre that incorporated elements of indie, punk, hardcore and heavy metal – to become the reluctant "voice of a generation." As the frontman for Nirvana, Cobain's esoteric lyrics and ability to craft indelible hooks with a uniquely metallic resonance fueled the band. Backed by the core of Krist Novoselic's steady bass and the thundering percussion of Dave Grohl, Cobain's songs almost single-handedly changed not only the musical landscape of the 1990s, but also the cultural landscape. Released in 1991, Nirvana's second album, Nevermind, was a landmark recording, bringing once-alternative sounds to the mainstream and tuning the world in to a Seattle scene that had gone largely unheard to that point. Nirvana led a charge that unseated the hedonistic values, flamboyant acts and slick production of hair metal at the top of the rock throne and replaced it with less scripted, more dynamic arrangements, introspective lyrics and more universally identifiable, laid-back style – including a flannel-clad fashion prerogative that was soon adopted from coast to coast, seen everywhere from dive bars ...


continue Categories: 10 Essential Songs

Bruce Springsteen Exhibit Moves to the Streets of Philadelphia

Monday, February 20: 1 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum VP of exhibitions and curatorial Jim Henke talks Springsteen

From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen opened at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia this past weekend. The Rock Hall curated the exhibit, and it was the major temporary exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum from April 2009 to February 2011.

The Springsteen exhibit was not originally intended to travel, but after representatives from the Constitution Center came to Cleveland to see it, they thought it would be a great fit for their museum. We had several discussions with them, and we worked with Springsteen’s management to see whether moving it was a possibility. In the end, we all agreed that it made sense to take the exhibit to the Constitution Center. After all, Springsteen’s roots go back to the Jersey Shore, an area not that far from Philadelphia. Moreover, Springsteen is a truly American musician and songwriter, someone who has given voice to the restlessness, hopes and dreams of ordinary Americans. Millions of listeners have found their experience of the American dream reflected in his songs about the lonely, the lost, the unemployed, immigrants and military veterans. The City of Brotherly Love was ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit

Rock Hall Sessions: Interview with Bethesda

Friday, February 17: 4 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Members of the band Bethesda interviewed at the Rock Hall

Although Bethesda is an Ohio-bred band whose homespun tales and sounds are grounded in the folk tradition, the members' ecletic musical backgrounds, creative energy and flair for the dramatic ensure that they're never beholden to the trappings of one particular style. Instead, the group's core of musicians – violinist Christopher Black, bassist Dan Corby, vocalist Shanna Delaney, guitarist/vocalist Eric Ling, drummer Justin Rife and guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Jesse Sloan – have cultivated a refreshingly vibrant sound that has made them a band to watch. Their music has been slated to appear in programming on Showtime, MTV, Oxygen, VH1 and E!; they've shared the stage with such noted indie acts as Azure Ray and fellow Ohio native, Jessica Lea Mayfield, and exposure on more than 200 independent and college radio stations nationwide has given them serious buzz. 

Delaney hails from Circleville, Ohio, while Ling grew up in nearby Bellefontaine. Sloan originally came from Florida, Rife from Tallmadge, Ohio, Corby from Chardon, Ohio, and Black was most recently living in Connecticut. The members brought divergent tastes, with Rife coming from a background playing in punk bands and Delaney having found her voice in musical theater. Ling was a student ...


continue Categories: Summer in the City

Meshell Ndegeocello Live at the Rock Hall

Thursday, February 16: 4:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Meshell Ndegeocello

Since her debut album in 1993, songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Meshell Ndegeocello has been creating music on her own terms, simultaneously challenging and engaging listeners by deftly drawing from an eclectic songbook and delivering powerful reflections on race, love, sex, betrayal, power and religion. Her nine albums illustrate a creative versatility and singular aesthetic that has embraced everything from rock to hip hop, R&B to new wave, funk to punk, reggae to jazz. Her work has been met with critical accolades and fan acclaim, and her proficiency on the bass has brought her signature warm, fat, melodic groove not only to her own performances, but also to those of the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Alanis Morrisette, James Blood Ulmer, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Tony Allen, John Medeski, Billy Preston and Chaka Khan. Ndegeocello best characterizes her particular brand of playing: "Genres are for commercial purposes and music is a continuum like everything else. My style is explorative, searching, personal, and it grows and changes as I do."

Born Michelle Johnson in Berlin, Germany, Ndegeocello spent her formative years in Virginia, cultivating her musicality during the late Eighties while working the go-go circuit in Washington, D.C. In the ...


continue Categories: Event

Today In Rock: Detroit Declares "Aretha Franklin Day"

Thursday, February 16: 2 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Aretha Franklin has her day in Detroit

By February 1968, Aretha Franklin had established herself as among the world's premier recording artists, her genre-spanning recordings achieving commercial and critical acclaim, and appealing to mixed-race audiences around the world. The previous year had seen the release of I Never Loved A Man the Way I Love You, her triumphant Atlantic Records debut produced by Jerry Wexler and recorded with an ace backing band at Rick Hall's Fame Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The landmark soul recording included Franklin's righteous re-working of Otis Redding's "Respect," which rose to Number One on the Billboard Hot 100, and the inspired candor and groove of the album's title track. That same year, Wexler and engineer Tom Dowd worked with Franklin on her sophomore effort for Atlantic, Aretha Arrives, which included the hit single "Baby I Love You," peaking at Number Four on the Billboard Hot 100. Less than a year later, in January 1968, Lady Soul arrived, featuring "Chain of Fools" and "A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like)," the latter written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. Both singles charted in the Billboard Hot 100 Top 10. It was in 1968 that legendary deejay ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Today in Rock
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